Tropical Storm Hillary brought torrential rains to southern California and Nevada, while weather experts warned of life-threatening and disastrous conditions for the rare storm as it moved inland.
The US National Weather Service urged people to stay off roads in the Los Angeles area due to dangerous flooding.
Much of the area in the storm’s path, which is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as the center of the storm moves toward Nevada on Monday, is not used to seeing the types of storms or precipitation associated with tropical storms.
Weather forecasters predict some desert areas will receive 12 to 25 centimeters of rain.
Strong winds and rain are seen from a residence as Tropical Storm Hilary approaches, in Cathedral City, California, US, August 20, 2023. (Photo: via Reuters)
“In some parts of the desert, it’s one year of rainfall,” Alex Tardy, a senior weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in San Diego, told a news briefing. “Normal rainfall in Southern California and San Diego was next to nothing in August. So, something very unusual happened here.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to assist response and recovery efforts.
President Joe Biden said his administration stands ready to provide assistance to California, Nevada and Arizona.
The storm forced flight cancellations in Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. Meanwhile schools in Los Angeles and San Diego were closed on Monday (21/8).
The last tropical storm to hit California was in 1977. Tropical storm Hillary made landfall Sunday (20/8) on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. (uh/ab)